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Federal infrastructure package may finally fund long-awaited control tower rebuild at Peoria Intl' Airport


Peoria airport director Gene Olson says the newly-signed $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill may finally allow for replacement of the airport's outdated air traffic control tower.

"This new infrastructure has a provision for improving or relocating locally-owned control towers," Olson said.

Built in 1959, Olson said the control tower actually predates the Federal Aviation Administration which now staffs the site. The replacement cost is estimated at $20 million.

"It's really a lifesaver for this airport," Olson said. "Because this building's not going to last forever, and it really puts us back in the ballgame.

Federal funding for the airport-owned control tower was previously blocked by federal rules governing money benefiting the FAA.

And with no appetite to fund the modernization project entirely with local funds, Olson said the control tower has largely been maintained as well as possible with what resources are available.

The infrastructure bill is set to direct at least $17 billion in direct infrastructure investments back to Illinois, with more possible through grants and other programs.

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